United Airlines Suffers Yet Another IT Meltdown Resulting In System Wide Delays

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United Airlines seems to more than just a few problems with their IT systems recently as the suffered from another error today causing flights system wide to be delayed.

Just two weeks after United suffered the last outage delaying (grounding) their entire domestic fleet for hours today the error affects flights system wide as pilots have issues getting their flight plans.

Another week, another problem over at United as travelers are once again inconvenienced by computer issues that continue to plague the airline.

The Chicago Tribune (access here) reported that United passengers had to deal with delays stretching from the morning till afternoon on Wednesday until the issue was finally resolved.

United Airlines experienced delays for hundreds of flights at airports across the country Wednesday because of a systemwide computer problem affecting flight plans, the latest in a series of technical glitches for major airlines.

The problem, which arose early Wednesday morning, slowed down the creation of flight plans for airline crews and employees, delaying but not canceling flights, United spokeswoman Erin Benson said.

The computer issue was fixed around noon Wednesday, Benson said, but delays continued into the afternoon. …

At Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the totals continued to climb throughout the day Wednesday, with 125 United flights listed as delayed as of 4 p.m., according to the live flight-tracking website FlightAware.

Similar delays were reported at airports across the country, with 146 United flights delayed at Newark Liberty International; 108 at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental; and 54 at Washington’s Dulles International, among others.

“Flight plans were being created; flights were landing and taking off,” Benson said. “There was just a delay in getting those plans.”

Sounds like United is trying to downplay the matter and focus on technical details rather calling a spade a spade. This is also apparent in their Twitter conversations with customers such as this one:

Sorry United but this is just nonsense. Whatever you call it, your flights aren’t taking off and it’s a system wide issue do don’t downplay your second major IT meltdown in a matter of two weeks!

Anyhow, operations have since resumed but travelers were still affected by long delays for more than half a day.


You can expect receiving some sort of compensation from United Customer Relations but probably have to write in for that. Some airlines such as Delta compensate passengers automatically during system wide outages but I haven’t heard united doing such a thing.

United does however have the ‘Appreciation’ site (access here) where you can punch in your flight details and see if it credits you something if the flight has been entered as eligible for compensation.

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  • Chris

    Well in the EU you would at least have a right to monetary compensation and hotel accommodation in cases like this. In the US with its anti-consumer-protection stance I guess you’ll call yourself lucky if you don’t get shot for complaining. That’s what I don’t like about the US, if the company f**ks up its the customers who have to suffer the consequences.

    • Some US companies are good when it comes to compensation (better for their elite members). I would, however, prefer European style legislation that would encourage airlines to resolve issues and have bit of a slack in the system as well.